Relics

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag are the objects he had always had on him. And slowly as the illness took over, these things got left behind at home, one-by-one, taken off for an x-ray visit once and never worn again. But a few were taken off of him on his last day, the bare essentials he had just used a couple of hours before the last minute. Whatever little a man can really own – a watch, spectacles, a shaving razor, a brush, a tiny book with the thousand names of Vishnu, prayer beads and some rings. Spectacles, yes, those were the last thing he would have consciously used and touched.

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag there is a cheap gold watch, which ticked on for a while, and the quartz ran out of power a couple of months after the funeral. The family might have come close to donating it away but they couldn’t. But among these inanimate things of the dead, frozen in that day, there is something alive. The leather straps of the watch still have his smell, soaked in the salt of his work, not so easy to diffuse away. There is a fragment of his presence in this airtight bag.

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag the essence of a man humbly outlives himself – a watch, spectacles, a shaving razor, a brush, a tiny book with the thousand names of Vishnu, prayer beads and some rings. Left as if he had just been here and would be back from them. Someday, however, these relics will be trashed or given away. For all relics are lost to time, our pains are to preserve a lingering memory – like life in a photograph, like putting things in a zip-lock bag or a tomb, preserving until there is no one left behind to remember.

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aishwaryauniyal

A bit like you.